Competition (and the weather) heating up

Competition (and the weather) heating up

Tracy&James | Sunday, 4 June 2023

The competition events at last weekend’s BFCC casting day in Kent were very competitive and the overall result was the tightest that the BFCC has had since it’s been running the 7 discipline format; i.e. #5 trout distance, #7 trout distance, ST27, T38, Salmon overhead S55, T120 and accuracy (the rules for which can all be found on the BFCC website). The overall winner is determined by the lowest score achieved when all the individual placings in the 7 disciplines are added up, and just one point covered the top three casters. Even the countback of event wins was tied and thus the number of second places was used to determine the winner.

I got off to a pretty poor start in the event with a sixth place in the accuracy event.  I’m perhaps not the best at accuracy anyway (although can put some quite decent scores together in practice) but I managed to underperform even by my lowly standards.  This was not helped by the fact that I set up the court in the lee of the club house and the wind swirling down from the roof caused all the casters issues and resulted in significantly reduced scores as the leader seemingly kicked in random directions when delivered.  Starting with 6 points on the board after one round is the golfing equivalent of a quadruple bogie, meaning I had a lot of work to do in the distance events to get back in touch with the leaders.

The wind also caused some issues with the distance events as it switched through probably a 40 degree angle at regular intervals.  As there were both left and right handed casters present it was evident that someone was going to be disadvantaged if the tape was put at either extreme of the winds deviation.  As such, a decision was made to put two tapes at each casting position arranged in a ‘Vee’ layout.  The caster then selected which tape they would cast down immediately before the clock started – they then had to stick with this decision, so no changing half way through.

The #5 trout distance at the BFCC has stepped up in competitiveness in the last couple of years and this competition was no exception.  Only 7 people have cast over 130ft with a #5 at the BFCC and four of them were present last weekend.  This resulted in another very close outcomewith the top 3 all casting 130ft plus and all within less than 2ftof each other.  What was interesting was that the top 3 all used different lines; the Ballistic Pro Performance, the SA MED and the new Celestial comp #5.  Well done to Nick for ‘nicking’ the win in that one.

E0A2EA3B-09EB-405A-BA08-0DDF0A18181DBart also produced a very special cast in the #7 trout distance event to beat the overall record.  Unfortunately for me the record he beat was mine from 2022 when I cast exactly 150ftin Doddleston.  Being as Mike Marshall held this record for getting on for a decade I had thought that my 50 yard benchmark might last longer than it did, but well done to Bart for pushing this on to 153ft.  I won’t be giving up on trying to get it back just yet though.

One of the 80 year old veteran’s also had a great event as he extended two of his records – casting the ST27 over 50 yards and the Salmon S55 outfit over 55 yards.  Tracy had a mostly great casting competition, being close to three of her records in ST27, S55 and T120, although she was a little disappointed with her #7 result.

As an aside, I visited Steve Parkes at the Celestial fly line’s headquarters (his home in Wales) this week for some line testing.  He’s hoping to launch the competition #7 distance line very soon, adding it to the #5, ST27 and S55 lines that are currently in production.

The weather forecast for this week in Wales is for wall to wall sunshine, perfect for getting out on the river late in the evenings and enjoying the rise.  Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out what exactly they are taking having been frustrated on the last trip.

Have a great week,